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Amnesty and drugs… just say maybe

12 January 2018

Andres Manuel López Obrador’s proposal to give amnesty to narcotics trafficers is, as you would expect, controversial. An estimated 400,000 Mexicans are, to one degree or another, involved in the industry… everything from smugglers to farmers and sharecopping marijuana growers to money counters to lookouts. Obviously, they can’t all be jailed, nor perhaps,do they need to be… although opponents of the proposal (in other words, every presidential candidate who is not AMLO) will focus on more villainous types, the hit-men and “drug lords”… who have more sympathy than one might expect.

Parametría has just released a survey of attitudes towards amnesty, and the narcotics industry, that offer several surprises. Opinion is nearly split on whether an amnesty would lessen or increment violence…30 percent of those polled taking one of those two positions. But another 30% say it would make no difference one way or the other, the rest undecided. Depending on how you chose to read those figures, 60% are not opposed to amnesty, or are.

Given the results to other questions on the survey, one suspects people would favor amnesty: 84% believe that it is not wrong to sell or produce drugs, 73% think that drug trafficking is a necessary evil and half or more than half of respondents said that drug trafficking generates jobs, and at the very least contributes to the communities in which traffickers live.

57 percent of those polled would tolerate the drug industry (legal or otherwise) if there was an end to violence, while only 23 percent support a violent continuation of the “war on drugs”.


Animal Politica

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 13 January 2018 1:41 pm

    Doesn’t the near-total lack of successful prosecutions basically mean that there’s already amnesty?

    Also on a related note, I’ve been digging around trying to figure out why crime has gone off the charts in 2017. Seems to have been a bad year for all kinds of crime in México, but I’m having a hard time understanding exactly why.

    Any thoughts? It’d be a compelling blog post.


    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where the state would rather forgive alien lawbreakers than cooperate with the Trump administration.

    • 13 January 2018 1:44 pm

      P.S. What does AMLO expect in return for amnesty? Amnesty by itself with nothing in return seems like total insanity, IMHO.

      • 14 January 2018 12:42 am

        As to what in return for amnesty… don’t know… the possibility was raised, which was enough to set off the bruhah from the “usual suspects”. One assumes that it could be anything from a “go and sin no more” general amnesty (especially for small time growers and share-croppers) to some sort of Truth and Justice Commission with its own investigators and prosecutors.

    • 14 January 2018 12:37 am

      Perhaps this is why the homocide rate has risen…

      • 14 January 2018 1:44 pm

        Thanks for the reply, Rich. That article does indeed present a lot of detailed data about the growth in homicides, but doesn’t seem to provide much of a explanation of the root cause. I’m wondering if there’s some issue with inflation, economic pressure, or perhaps lower profits in the drug trade due to increasing legalization of marijuana in the USA. It’s still a mystery to me as to why the murder rate has literally gone off the charts in a little more than a year. If that happened stateside, policemen, think thanks, and politicians would be running around with their hair on fire trying to understand and address the causes.

        Though I can’t cite the specific figures, I believe that a pitifully small fraction of Mexican murders are ever solved, with the perpetrators brought to justice. This issue is worth addressing, but of course it doesn’t really speak to the surge in violence.

        I truly hope that for Mexico’s sake that the next administration can come to a grip with this problem. It’s serious and needs serious attention.



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